Census Roundup: Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that America’s senior population has been surging, with one in eight Americans (13 percent of the population) now age 65 or older. As of 2010, there were 40.3 million members of the 65+ population in this country, up 5 million since just 2000. This comes on the heels of a Census announcement that Americans are more likely to reach age 90 than ever before—meaning America’s oldest old population has also been surging. Since 1980, the number of 90-year-olds has tripled, rising to 1.9 million. At the rate things are going, 8.7 million people, or one in 10 Americans, could be 90+ by midcentury. And while women still outnumber men in the 90-plus population (by a ratio of nearly 3 to 1), men have been catching up to older women in terms of longevity: Last year, there were 90 men for every 100 women age 65 or older.
Florida, Texas and California lead the nation in absolute numbers of 90+ folks (though North Dakota had the highest percentage of Americans over 90). Florida also leads the nation in terms of the 65+ population. Though upcoming retirees may be less likely to migrate to Florida or Sun Belt states, Florida is still home to a greater percentage of older adults than any other state, and the West has the fastest growing older population, up 23.5 percent over the past decade.
The wealth gap between older and younger Americans is wider than we’ve ever seen before. The typical net worth of households headed by someone 65+ is 47 times higher than that of households headed by those under 35—nearly five times greater than it was 25 years ago.
And homeownership is at its lowest level since the Great Depression, having fallen to 65.1 percent. Though the highest ownership rate is for those 65 and older (about 77.5 percent own their own homes), this number is down slightly from its peak in 2000— and middle-aged adults (those ages 35-65) are at their lowest levels of ownership in decades.
Older Pop Stars In ‘Vogue’ At Super Bowl: Madonna will perform during the half-time ceremony of next year’s Super Bowl, scheduled to played in Indianapolis February 5. Madonna, who’s slated to release a new album in 2012, is carrying on a recent trend in half-time performers over a certain age (tough luck, tweenyboppers). The past several Super Bowls have seen shows from The Who, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and U2. Broadcast worldwide, the Super Bowl halftime show is the most-watched musical event of the year.
Monday Quick Hits:
- Actress Meryl Streep and singer Neil Diamond were among five performers honored by the Kennedy Centre and President Obama. “Meryl Streep, anybody who saw The French Lieutenant’s Woman had a crush on her,” Obama said.
- Two women in their 80s are complaining about being strip-searched by TSA officials at New York’s Kennedy Airport.
- Researchers have successfully grown stem cells from heart attack patients’ own hearts.
- Many boomers have little savings as retirement looms.
- And a new study suggests women and men face different heart risks even when they have the same amount of coronary plague.